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FA technical director Dan Ashworth's position 'untenable' - Heather Rabbatts

Dan Ashworth has overseen a big improvement in youth football in England.
Dan Ashworth was responsible for the appointment of former England women's manager Mark Sampson.

Dan Ashworth's position as technical director of the Football Association is "untenable," according to former FA board member Heather Rabbatts.

Ashworth, along with FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn, are under scrutiny after three inquiries were needed to establish that former England women's manager Mark Sampson made discriminatory comments towards Chelsea forward Eni Aluko and midfielder Drew Spence.

Ashworth was responsible for the appointment of Sampson and is also set to lead the search for his permanent successor to lead the Lionesses.

Rabbatts, who stood down from her position at the FA in June, says that should not be allowed to happen and feels Ashworth had allowed a "monoculture" to develop at the national training base at St George's Park.

"I think his position is untenable,'' Rabbatts told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "He has been there since 2012, these issues have been raised -- a lack of diversity, a lack of black coaches, the issue of Mark Sampson and Eni, these have all happened.

"This is about professional judgement. It's not that he [Ashworth] hasn't tried, but that's not enough.

"You have the experiences that are set out before us and if you were to talk to black coaches who feel that they are never going to get these roles, then there has to be a time for a change.''

Sampson was eventually sacked last month following evidence of what the FA described as "inappropriate and unacceptable'' behaviour in a previous job.

On Wednesday, independent barrister Katharine Newton concluded in her final report that Sampson twice made discriminatory comments towards Aluko and teammate Spence.

Glenn subsequently ''sincerely apologised'' to the players over Sampson's remarks before he, Clarke, Ashworth and FA director of HR Rachel Brace faced a grilling at a parliamentary hearing over their investigations into the issue.

Rabbatts added: "My really strongly held view is that something has to change.

"One of the reasons I left slightly early in terms of being the first person of colour, the first woman on that board, is that this issue of the national football centre, which should be leading best practice, is a monoculture, and that is not acceptable.

"In a way the story starts, not from the failures of internal investigations, but where you have a culture where comments can be made and clearly were made, and there isn't an instant reaction that that is wrong, and that those comments are not appropriate.''


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